Note #1: August 15 - Sept 5 2016

context and thoughts

Welcome to the first issue of Africa Notes! This is my humble contribution to the growing Sub-Saharan Africa startup ecosystem: an aggregation of links and notes about what i’m tracking in our region, available to all who might be interested. I’ll be focusing on what seems most relevant/influential/unique to me, so I won’t be covering every single event/hackathon/contest happening in Africa (apologies in advance!).

As I put this together I’ve been impressed by how active our African ecosystem truly is – even this first edition covering the last 2 weeks describes a wave of deals completed, major Silicon Valley investors and execs coming to Africa, and strong startup/developer ecosystem growth.

If you see important deals that I haven’t listed here, please contribute information I’m missing through the “What am I missing?” link at the top of this page. Thanks to Josh’s excellent Vikarah newsletter for inspiring this project, and for sharing his publishing flow process.

And if you want to keep following my updates as they come out, don’t forget to sign up for the email version of Africa Notes on the right side of this page. Enjoy!


  • invest $1mm Innovate Africa fund has opened to support projects that improve “audience engagement with African civic media” link

  • startup Demo Africa’s 2016 winning startups announced (congrats all!) link

  • ecosystem Zuck and Facebook’s Partnerships team visited tech hubs, startups, and gov’t in Nigeria and Kenya on a surprise Africa tour link


  • invest Y Combinator is coming to Nigeria (Lagos & Abuja) on Sept 23-27 link

  • invest Events venue booking site ogaVenue raised a $45k seed round led by Spark and link

  • invest She Leads Africa (SLA) accepted the first 10 startups into their 2016 SLA Accelerator Program link

  • invest Tech investment fund GreenHouse Capital launched by Venture Garden Group link

  • startup Nollywood content hits Apple TV with NollyLand’s new app link

  • startup Consumer healthcare app Kangpe wins Seedstars World Lagos link

  • startup Healthcare clinic management startup Curcacel Health chosen for Startup-Up Chile’s S Factory accelerator program link

  • payment Ecommerce giant Jumia launches JumiaPay in Nigeria, then 23 more countries link

  • payments Mobile payment startup Paga reaches 5mm users in 4 years link

  • access Nigeria now at 13% broadband penetration link


  • invest Mobile survey company mSurvey raised $1mm round from Safaricom’s Spark Venture Fund link

  • govt Bill requiring licensing of all “ICT practitioners” (!) rejected by Kenyan gov’t link

  • govt US startup Fulcrum’s app used for Kenya’s tenBoma anti-poaching initiative link

south africa

  • invest South African Business Angel Network (SABAN) launched at Demo Africa 2016 link

  • invest Payments startup Zoona raised a $15mm Series B round led by IFC and including 4Di Capital link

  • invest Anti-piracy startup Custos Media Technologies raised a ZAR 5.9mm investment from SA govt’s Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) link

  • invest Transit information startup WhereIsMyTransport raises $1.536mm round led by Goodwell Investments link

  • payments South African Reserve Bank “open to” considering blockchain and cryptocurrencies link

  • access 1gbps fiber access continues to grow in Cape Town with Vumatel’s rollout link

  • ecosystem IBM opens its second research lab in Africa at Wits University link

other sub-saharan africa countries

  • invest off-grid solar Ugandan startup BBOXX raised a $20m Series C round link

  • ecosystem “Silicon Accra” tech city project announced in Ghana for 2021 launch link